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Opioid Moratorium/Black Agenda Report

Dr. Sidney Wolfe explains why Public Citizen is calling for a moratorium on FDA approval of any new opioids. And Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report talks with Ralph about a wide range of issues, including right-wing black Democrats, blackface, and the militarization of the police.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who along with Ralph was one of the co-founders of Public Citizen. He was the director of the Health Research Group from 1971 to 2013. Dr. Wolfe is an expert on issues of drug safety, health care policy, Food and Drug Administration, hospital oversight, OSHA, medical devices, Medicare, Medicaid and doctor discipline. He is calling on the FDA to put a moratorium on the approval of any new opioids.

“Last October, an FDA advisory committee considered whether or not to approve an opioid that’s ten times more powerful than fentanyl (Dsuvia). The evidence that it is very useful was close to zero… Does it provide something that no previous opioid provided? The answer is ‘No. No. No.’” Dr. Sidney Wolfe, senior director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group


Glen Ford has had a long and wide-ranging career as a broadcast journalist. He has served as Capitol Hill, State Department, White House correspondent, and Washington Bureau Chief for the Mutual Black Network and produced and hosted “America’s Black Forum,” the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. Mr. Ford also co-founded, a weekly journal, which quickly became the most influential Black political site on the Net.  And now, Mr. Ford hosts and produces the radio magazine, Black Agenda Report.

“These are fake ways to speak about racism, ways to address racism on a cosmetic basis that doesn’t touch the institutional factors. Therefore, it doesn’t touch the entrenched powers that be that profit from racism.” Glen Ford, of Black Agenda Report, on the uproar over blackface


  1. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    You should have had someone like William Binney on to debunk the Russiagate propaganda a long time ago, Ralph. Think about getting Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Mate, or Jimmy Dore on next to finally put it to bed. They’re some of the very few who have demanded actual evidence and remained consistent during this disgrace to the journalism profession.

  2. Kris Sundberg says:

    Thank you for having Glen Ford as a guest. Such clarity of thought and common sense.

  3. Marc Hudgens says:

    I”m with David all the way on this; in the midst of holding insurance giants and Big Pharma accountable for our deplorable healthcare system (which we should continue doing), where is the outrage toward doctors? Indeed they are highly culpable in this no question. My personal experience with MDs, they’ve proven that if they can’t pill your problem away or cut it out with a scalpel they just don’t know what to do.

    I once visited a psychiatrist, who gave me samples of an anti-depressant. Within 2 days of taking it I had shortness of breath. So I stopped taking it. Went to him again and told him of my problem – he gave me samples of another antidepressant. Same result, shortness of breath. Then samples of a third brand, same result. This happened 5 times! In the end he looks at me and says “I just don’t know how to help you anymore”. Useless.

    My wife went to her now-former OB-GYN years ago, was trying to lose weight. She did but up to a point but then hit the proverbial wall. She was starving herself basically. She tells him her struggles and what advise he has. He just told her to just keep “dieting and exercise”, which she was doing damn near to the extremes. Useless.

    This is what we pay high prices for in our healthcare system, a bunch of 2-trick ponies who care more about their business relationships than the wellness of their patients. Screw these people.

  4. Thomas Lapsley says:

    Your blaming the pharmaceutical industry but, what is the reason that the ultimate group responsible for pushing these drugs is not held accountable by the press and society by the media? Specifically the area of medicine that profits the most is psychiatry. Yes, the medical community in pushing Opioids is repeating what happen with our children in this country when forced on Ritalin and Adderall. If it wasn’t for some great journalists almost every child in the country would have been on drugs. Most of those kids didn’t need any of those drugs. Most ridiculous thing I ever heard is the statement that a 4 year old is sick for acting like a four year old child. The same also happen with the Prozac nation trend. The real profit in the Opioid crisis is in the secondary addiction, that very few address, resulting from the Opioid addiction. Here, the secondary addiction is caused once again by the corrupt industry of psychiatry in pushing their drugs. Psychiatry shifts the addiction and forces patients into treatment forcing their drugs that are worse in sometimes crippling individuals for life. The primary addiction is terrible but, the forced secondary addition by psychiatric industry is worse.

  5. Shirley Jacobson says:

    Cost for a subscription to Worst Pills newsletter is $20/yr for print version. then can add online for an additional $10/yr. Total cost $30/yr for both.

  6. Karen Bednarek says:

    Thank you for having another of my favorite fellow truth teller journalists, Glen Ford!
    History of corporate conservative purchasing of the Black members of congress, diluting the conscience
    of the congress.
    I echo another comment that it would be great to also get Glenn Greenwald, Binney, Phyllis Binnis, Aron Mate, Matt Taibbi, and truth tellers,
    who expose the military industrial complex and Big Oil and bank money in politics that support perpetual
    Forever War and increased oppression of the people around the world, on the show.

  7. One of the best segments of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour! About a decade ago, several of the students I worked with at a community college completed papers on the spread of opioids in the New England/New York (upstate) area. The spread through communities that had been hit hard by economic deprivation was viral-like in its sweeping character. The beat goes on with this epidemic and this segment provided much needed information on how some of these lethal and questionable drugs become so “popular” and so abused.

    Great segment with Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford. The Report is one of the best sources of unfiltered truth telling available. Kudos for this segment!